Friday, 2nd April 2010, Velenje, Slovenia
Gorenje’s Own Solar Power Plant
At the end of March, the construction of a 200 kW solar power plant was completed at Gorenje. The plant, already connected to Gorenje’s power grid, is divided into four units with 50 kW of output power each. The units are located at Gorenje Showroom, Velenje high-bay warehouse, and at manufacturing facilities of Gorenje I.P.C. and Mekom in Šoštanj.
Gorenje’s daily power consumption averages at 13,000 kW. Average power output of a solar power plant in Slovenia amounts to approximately 1,050 kWh per 1 kWp of installed power; hence, Gorenje’s solar plant is expected to generate approximately 210 MWh per year. The power thus generated is already used for Gorenje’s requirements, while any surplus energy generated during collective annual leaves or holidays will be fed back into the power grid, making use of the buy-back arrangements at the going feed-in rates. The investment into the solar power plant amounts to EUR 585 thousand and it is expected to reach the break-even point in less than ten years. Furthermore, the solar plant installed on Gorenje facilities is also an important reference for further marketing of the Gorenje Solar program.
Gorenje is turning to solar energy as an alternative source of energy in order to respond to the increasing trend of a shift towards renewable energy sources. At the same time, the Solar program is a logical extension of Gorenje's activities in energy management and ecology. The program's core activity is supplying a comprehensive offer of turnkey solar power plants provided by a team of in-house installation technicians; furthermore, they are also marketing individual components such as photovoltaic modules and other solar components.
About solar power plants
A solar power plant is a system of devices used to transform solar energy into electric power. It consists of photovoltaic modules, a support construction adapted to the method of module installation, and inverters. Needless to say, there are other key elements vital to the power plant's operation, such as cable connections, protection elements, junction boxes, switchboards and chassis, measurement-transmission points, control systems, etc. Photovoltaic modules can be installed virtually anywhere, provided the location selected receives optimum amount of sunlight throughout the year (appropriate slope, orientation towards the south, sunlight not blocked by any constructions or other items, support construction sufficiently stable to support the modules and the sub-construction in all weather conditions, etc.). One of the most common methods to install the modules is on the roof of a building, which may be flat or sloped. In the former case, modules must be arranged in rows to provide optimum inclination; for sloped roofs, correction of module inclination may also be required if the roof slope is suboptimal.